Seniors often suffer social network damage as they age, especially when health and mobility issues interfere with social activities. That can have a negative impact not just on mental well-being, but also on physical health, something long recognized by Oklahoma assisted living administrators. In a new study, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers found a clear link between an active social life and overall physical health and longevity.
Research has already established a link between the number and quality of social connections and longevity. This new study looked at specific ways the quality of a person’s social life can impact physical health. According to the results of the study, there is a link between social life quality and inflammation, blood pressure and obesity, particularly in the region of the abdomen.
Those health conditions are closely associated with the potential to develop diseases that are classically among the leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke and various types of cancer. Researchers found the link between social relationships and physical health is a strong one. According to their study results, staying active socially is just as important to health as diet and exercise are.
The strength of the link between social relationships and physical well-being points to the powerful benefits to senior health offered by assisted living communities in OKC. These communities are set up specifically to enhance social opportunities for seniors. That is a major highlight for many residents who, prior to moving to assisted living, saw their world shrink when they could no longer drive or were impacted by a health issue that made it difficult to go out without assistance.
Assisted living healthcare in Oklahoma City encourages the development of new friendships and interests. In addition to proximity to other residents, seniors can have access to transportation, group outings and assorted interest-related programs. Assisted living communities in OKC are often within easy range of shopping and performing arts districts, as well as a number of other interesting destinations. Seniors have the opportunity to be actively involved in their communities, if they like.
Many assisted living communities today facilitate the use of communication technologies, including tablets and laptops, helping seniors deepen and extend their social connectivity. In addition to making Wi-Fi and computers available, some assisted living centers offer special classes and programs to teach seniors computer skills and help them learn how to make the most of today’s communication technologies.
If your loved one is no longer socially active, assisted living may be the right solution. Social isolation isn’t just a lifestyle issue. It can be dangerous to overall health and can decrease longevity. Contact us to learn more about how to help your senior loved one enjoy a more social, health enhancing lifestyle.